Asian Fritillary (Euphydryas intermedia)

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2019 photographs highlighted in yellow. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

45557_male_Savoie_12Jul18 45529_female_Savoie_12Jul18 41757_female_Savoie_20Jul16

A rather rare and localised species that occurs in France only in the northern regions of the French Alpes. It is equally localised in the other parts of its European range in Switzerland and Austria, although its distribution extends into eastern Asia (hence the name). It has a relatively early flight period for a high altitude (1600-2100m) species, hence the condition of the only one I had seen as of 20 July 2016.

In 2018 I visited the same site at which I saw 41757 but, even though fifty species were seen there, intermedia was not one of them. I then went on to another known site in Savoie, and was delighted to find them in reasonable numbers, warming up in mid-morning on a patch of Alpenrose (Rhododendron ferrugineum). They were showing very slight signs of wear despite the fact that 2018 was a very late season, and they had a habit of sitting with wings curved slightly down which made the task of getting decent photographs rather more challenging. Nevertheless, it was the highlight of my 2018 trip to the Alpes.

It is very similar to its lowland cousin, the Scarce Fritillary (E. maturna), although their biotopes are very different and their ranges do not overlap.

The subspecies that occurs in the Alpes is wolfensbergeri.

ref sex


alt. m
45557 M a male, reasonably fresh but just showing slight signs of wear. 2090
45529 M a female from the same location as 45557, reasonably fresh but just showing slight signs of wear. 2090
41757 F a female, very much at the end of its flight period, but it is the first time I had seen this species, so a life-tick is to be cherished. I hope to revisit the location earlier in July at some point in the future in the hope of seeing them fresh(er) - see above. 1930